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Instructor
Dr. Carolyn P. Rosé (cprose@cs)

Office hours: Students are encouraged to request meetings with the instructors

Teaching Assistant: none this semester

Units: 12 (PhD/Master’s)
Readings and On-Line Discussions : Readings will be linked to the syllabus or passed out in class. Students are expected to do the readings and post a response to discussion questions on-line by 10pm the night prior to each class meeting.

Prerequisites: none

Class Meets: T,Th 10:30am-11:50am in GHC 4101

Course Syllabus

Course Description

In an increasingly competitive research community within a rapidly changing world, it is essential that we formulate research agendas that are of enduring importance, with clean research designs that lead to generalizable knowledge, and with high likelihood of yielding results that will have impact in the world. However, even the best research, if not communicated well, will fail to earn the recognition that it deserves. Even more seriously, the most promising research agendas, if not argued in a convincing and clear manner, will fail to secure the funding that would give them the chance to produce those important results.

Thus, in order to complement the strong content-focused curriculum, we are offering this professional skills course that targets the research and writing methodology that are needed in order to excel in the research community, both during your career preparation at CMU and in your career beyond.

This course focuses specifically on general experimental design methodology and corresponding writing and reporting skills. More than that, this course explores the important connections between research design and writing.

Course Procedures and Grading Criteria

Grades will be based primarily on a series of writing and presentation assignments in which students will apply principles from experimental design methodology. There will also be in-class activities to offer students opportunities to apply and practice their skills. A take-home final exam will test skills and concepts related to experimental design methodology, and will include short answer questions and a critique of a research paper.

This is meant to be a hands on and intensely interactive course rather than a heavy reading and lecture course. There will be some readings from a variety of sources throughout the semester that will be provided through the course Drupal account. The bulk of the work outside of class will be devoted to a significant writing project of the student’s own choosing. For example, a student may choose to work towards a conference paper about on-going research, a significant literature survey, or a dissertation proposal. There will be seven specific assignments throughout the semester, but mostof these (all but one) will be related specifically to the student’s own project. Additionally, once during the semester each student will give a 5 minute “project report” about their in progress course project and a more substantial presentation about their project at the end of the semester.

Class participation (10%)
Participation in On-Line Discussions (15%)
Assignments (50%, approx. 7% each)
Communication Competition (5%)
Final exam (10%)